Deccan Chargers clinch IPL title

Nov 30, -0001
JOHANNESBURG: Adam Gilchrist's Deccan Chargers won the 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday (24th May) with a 6-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Johannesburg.

Herschelle Gibbs was the hero for the Chargers with the bat, top-scoring with 53 from 48 balls, while Pragyan Ojha (3-28), Andrew Symonds (2-18) and Harmeet Singh (2-23) all came through with the ball as the Chargers successfully defended a modest-looking 143 for six after being put in top bat by Bangalore skipper Anil Kumble.

The New Wanderers stadium was filled to capacity on Sunday for the final of the 2009 IPL tournament, featuring the Deccan Chargers and Anil Kumble's Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Kumble sprang something of a surprise after winning the toss and opening the bowling - it was certainly a surprise for his opposite number Adam Gilchrist, who was bowled by the third ball of the innings for a duck.

Tirumalsetti Suman also went cheaply, caught in the deep for ten with the score on eighteen and Bangalore might have had the Chargers reeling at 23 for three in the sixth over had Rahul Dravid held on to an easy catch offered by the dangerous Andrew Symonds.

Symonds went on to strike a 21-ball 33 before Kumble brought himself back and forced the Australian all-rounder to play on in a bizarre dismissal.

Herschelle Gibbs and Rohit Sharma then added 52 for the fourth wicket, both players hitting sixes in one Praveen Kumar over that went for twenty runs.

Bangalore fought back though, Kumble returning again to take two wickets in an over - Sharma fell to a brilliant Manish Pandey catch at long off and Venugopal Rao went first ball, caught by Ross Taylor.

Kumble finished with figures of four for 16 from his four overs as Bangalore put the brakes on the Deccan innings, and had Gibbs not carried his bat for an unbeaten 53 from 48 balls, the Chargers might not have posted as many as 143 for six.

It didn't look a big enough target for an IPL final, especially with the Royal Challengers having won their last five matches, but they got off to a poor start with their opening pair back beyond the boundary inside seven overs.

Jacques Kallis played on to RP Singh for 16 and Pandey - who hit an unbeaten century against the Chargers in Bangalore's 12-run round-robin victory in Centurion just three days before - was caught behind for four off the left arm spin of Pragyan Ojha.

Roelof van der Merwe briefly threatened, striking three sixes and a four in a 21-ball 32, but he became Ojha's second victim when he was stumped with the score on 57 in the ninth over and when Dravid was bowled by Harmeet Singh for just nine, Bangalore knew they were in deep trouble.

A lot rested on the big-hitting Ross Taylor, but after he departed for a 20-ball 27 in the fifteenth over with the score on 99, the Bangalore challenge fell away.

Four more wickets fell for just twenty runs in four overs, including those of Virat Kohli and Mark Boucher and by the time Kumble came out to bat, his side needed 15 off the last over to win with just one wicket in hand.

Pragyan Ojha with 3 for 28, Andrew Symonds with 2 for 18 and Harmeet Singh (2-23) all came through with the ball for the Chargers as they successfully defended their total.

Kumble and Robin Uthappa managed just eight and subsided to 137 for nine and a six-run defeat.

Adam Gilchrist's men, who finished last at the inaugural tournament in 2008, were now the champions and there was a slight irony for Bangalore as well, the 2009 runners-up finished second from bottom in the league table last time.

Kumble received the consolation of the Man-of-the-Match award and RP Singh the leading bowler's purple cap.

And in a final demonstration of just how much excitement can be generated by the IPL, among players, organisers and fans, the newly-elected President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, was almost buried beneath team members, tickertape and spraying champagne at the presentation ceremony. AGENCIES



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